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Poster: Monte B Cowboy Date: Oct 6, 2012 11:15am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: iPhone 5 quandry not a GD problem — it's a worker problem

Loading an iPhone 5 with GD music or anything else is going to take awhile. Well that depends. You might be able to get one in a month or so that has flaws and blemishes. These units don't meet Foxconn's or Apple's inspection specs. But if you want a good one, you might have to wait awhile longer.

Several thousand workers on an iPhone 5 production line at Foxconn’s Zhengzhou plant have allegedly gone on strike in a dispute over workload, claims a report from China Labor Watch. Multiple iPhone 5 production lines were "in a state of paralysis" after as many as 4000 workers walked off the job yeseterday at a factory in China. Full press release:
(New York) China Labor Watch (CLW) announced that at 1:00PM on October 5 (Beijing time), a strike occurred at Foxconn’s Zhengzhou factory that involved three to four thousand production workers. In addition to demanding that workers work during the holiday, Foxconn raised overly strict demands on product quality without providing worker training for the corresponding skills. This led to workers turning out products that did not meet standards and ultimately put a tremendous amount of pressure on workers. Additionally, quality control inspectors fell into conflicts with workers and were beat up multiple times by workers. Factory management turned a deaf ear to complaints about these conflicts and took no corrective measures, resulting in a work stoppage by quality control inspectors.

The majority of workers who participated in this strike were workers from the OQC (onsite quality control) line. According to workers, multiple iPhone 5 production lines from various factory buildings were in a state of paralysis for the entire day. It was reported that factory management and Apple, despite design defects, raised strict quality demands on workers, including indentations standards of 0.02mm and demands related to scratches on frames and back covers. With such demands, employees could not even turn out iPhones that met the standard. This led to a tremendous amount of pressure on workers. On top of this, they were not permitted to have a vacation during the holiday. This combination of factors led to the strike.

That quality control inspectors would also strike is of no surprise. According to workers, there was a fight between workers and quality control inspectors in area K that led to the damage in inspection room CA, the injury of some people, and the hospitalization of others. After this, another similar incident occurred in area K, once again leading to quality control inspectors getting beat up. Yesterday, inspectors in area L received physical threats. When inspectors reported these issues to factory management, the management simply ignored and turned their back on the issue. For these reasons, all day and night shift inspectors carried out a work stoppage today that paralyzed the production lines.

CLW Executive Director Li Qiang said, “This strike is a result of the fact that these workers just have too much pressure."
Earlier this year, Apple announced that it would no longer use Google Maps as its default mapping application. Instead, the company said that it will build an ad-supported Maps app for its iOS 6 and the iPhone 5. Most critics agree on one thing: Apple’s new Maps app does not live up to expectations. “Compared with Google Maps, Apple’s map app sucks,” Fortune’s Philip Elmer-Dewitt wrote in an editorial this week.

Consumers seem to agree with the critical assessment. “This really is a downgrade in the quality of maps,” one user wrote on Macworld. “Using it in Sydney, Australia I notice the zoom levels are no where near as high, and the aerial images are dark, fuzzy and not as detailed. In Standard mode it no longer shows bus stops or house numbers, it’s now littered with icons showing me cafes, restaurants, shops, etc., main roads and local roads are now all the same color. How the hell is this an improvement?”

In my village-idiot opinion, I like these devices. I have never denied that. Here is my review in brief.

I recommend getting a cheap iPod or iPhone for playing your GD music, photos, and videos. I recommend buying a used one. You won't need to purchase any expensive smartphone Data Plan or Carrier contract this way. You'll still have free internet. The built-in Safari browser works at any internet wireless hot spot with a "free" log-in path.

If you need some instructions to help you set up your iPod or iPhone, read this old document of mine.

If you want someone to do it for you, I'm available to help you.

Most of all, people should know about how these devices are made. It is very disgusting to me! I admit, my job has been outsourced by outfits such as Apple, HP, Dell, Microsoft and others. But I still refuse to give up my GD / Alembic / Ampex values. I have my pride. Ampex never had any explosions in their main Audio-Video Systems Division factory in Colorado Springs. I worked in this factory. It was 239,000 square feet. Ampex workers were not getting killed there on the job. Ampex had other manufacturing plants and buildings that operated in Redwood City, Mountain View, and Sunnyvale, California. We never installed any anti-suicide safety nets around any of the Ampex buildings.

Ampex Magnetic Tape Division was headquartered in Opelika, Alabama. This made Ampex a manufacturer of both tape recorders and magnetic tape. Ampex's taping products were much in demand by top audio and video recording studios worldwide. Ampex factories operated for many years during the '60s, '70s, '80s, and '90s. I worked in Colorado for Ampex as a factory electronics technician for 3 years. I also worked 3 more years with Ampex as a field service engineer in the NYC area. Ampex workers were not severely stressed out and subjected to harsh working conditions. In fact, no Ampex workers ever committed suicide due to these reasons.

Alembic never had any explosions in their main facility. Alembic workers are not getting killed there on the job, nor have I ever heard of any of them committing suicide due to being subjected to harsh working conditions.

In fact, Alembic and Ampex comprised the greatest live music recording credits the Grateful Dead ever taped. Here are the recording credits for GD's Europe '72 tour.

Ampex technicians and engineers were very highly regarded by Broadcasters, Cable TV Networks, NAB, SMPTE, AES, and other professional organizations. Ampex technicians and engineers were among the highest sought-after and highest-paid workers in Broadcasting. I epitomize this fact. Thanks to my parents, and thanks to GD (and me taping them), and thanks to Bear, Ron Wickersham, Ampex and Alembic, I had a decent working-stiff career with a damn good lifestyle. Theses people have my loyalty because they earned it.